On a long NHS waiting list? Can’t afford private treatment? Feel like your doctors aren’t helping?

Did you know….

If you are resident in Britain and eligible for treatment on the NHS, you can now skip the waiting list by opting to have your medical care at a private or public healthcare facility within Europe (EEA). Better yet, we support you to make sure the NHS reimburse you the expenses for the procedure.

NHS pay for treatment abroad  What the NHS will cover:

The cost of the consultations, diagnostics and treatment (in-patient and out-patient) that you are eligible for in the UK, up to the level of providing it under the NHS. It covers almost all routine operations and procedures.

Note: considering that the UK is one of the most expensive countries in which to live in the EU, the majority of countries (and the ones where we have extensive hospital and clinic connections) all cost less. Countries like France or Germany typically cost the same or more as the UK, so going to these countries for treatment will mean you have to cover the difference of medical costs.

 What the NHS will NOT cover:

  • Translation (if required)
  • Travel costs and insurance
  • Accommodation (except when staying in the hospital)
  • Procedures and tests which are not usually available under the NHS or your local area.
  • Any aesthetic or vision correction procedures.
  • Varicose vein treatment except for very severe cases
  • Dental treatments except for rare cases (see our blog for more details).

 What you need to know:


  • UK resident (proof of residence)
  • You will pay for your treatment in advance and then the NHS will reimburse you
  • Planned Treatment  (long term care) should be available to you under the NHS. If you are unsure, please contact us.
  • Depending on the complexities of each individual case, some diagnostics, and proof of the medical need for treatment, can be obtained from your local doctor (NHS or Private), or the doctors abroad who will perform the procedure.
  • Some, more complex or very expensive treatments require prior-authorisation by NHS before going abroad.

 How we work:

  • Our experienced, multi-lingual, award-winning medical tourism team provide all the important information you need to know: what treatments are available, clinics and doctors abroad to choose from, what level of reimbursement is possible and much more.
  • By taking care of the NHS application process: making sure that it is submitted according to all rules and requirements.
  • We cooperate with doctors and hospitals abroad, and in the UK, to ensure all necessary paperwork is provided, translated and submitted to NHS.
  • We seek prior-authorisation from the NHS so you will be 100% sure that your treatment costs will be covered (some more complex cases). That’s why it’s better to contact us BEFORE you travel.
  • We assist with accommodation and travel (if needed). In some countries we even have team members who can help and support you while you are there.
  • With a dedicated London pre-assessment, consultation and after-care clinic for some treatments we are able to offer private initial consultations and after-care.

 About Us:

  • Established, experienced British medical tourism company.
  • Local knowledge and expertise.
  • English speaking medical staff, and multilingual support in the UK and abroad.

Contact us NOW to find out if your treatment is eligible, and how we can help to make the process easy. Call us on 0207 617 7301 or 075 3443 7778. Email: info@bodybureau.co.uk  Facebook: www.facebook.com/bodybureau

 Body Bureau – Your Partner in Health!

NHS reimbursement treatment abroad

Treatment in Europe and NHS reimbursement: Frequently Asked Questions

What services does NHS compensation cover?

 Compensation is available for the patient’s costs for consultations, diagnostics and treatment (operations) in both private and public healthcare facilities in the EEA. The main criteria is that the same treatment should be available to a patient under the NHS in England (even if it was never offered by the GP or consultant). The most frequent operations and procedures are related to gynecological, orthopedic, infertility diseases, hernias and haemorrhoids. However, the NHS does not reimburse the cost of additional services like insurance,  translation, travel and accommodation.

 I have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by the UK. Can I get treatment with it in Europe

 The EHIC is intended solely for emergencies and injuries when urgent first aid is needed (only valid in EU public hospitals). Having this card does not give you the right to get a planned treatment (diagnostics, operations). If a patient wants to receive a routine treatment (in a private or public clinic) and receive NHS compensation, he or she must pay for the treatment in advance and upon return to the UK start the reimbursement process.

 How is the compensation determined?

 Compensation can be up to 100% of actual treatment costs. The maximum possible compensation amount cannot exceed the local NHS rates for a similar operation in England. For example, if the operation cost in Poland is £2,000 and the NHS tariff is £1800 for the same operation, the maximum possible compensation available for a patient will be £1800. NHS rates are quite high, so very often the services of private clinics in East and Central Europe are fully covered. We advise starting the compensation process only if the total cost per patient is at least £200. The entire reimbursement process may take up to 3-5 months.

 Is there a deadline for processing the documents for compensation? Is it necessary to have a permanent resident card or British passport?

 There is no time limit, so all treatments since 2014 may be considered. It is important to have documents proving that a patient was an ordinary resident in England during the time of treatment in Europe. A permanent resident card or British passport is not required. It is sufficient to submit a bank statement, where it is clearly shown that the patient lived in the UK before and after treatment and one document directly related to the place of residence: council tax, utilities, HMRC account or a copy of the rental agreement. A driving license, mobile phone bill, payroll/work permit are not normally considered documents proving permanent residency. You must also be registered with your local GP.

We would like to emphasize that during the Brexit process there are no planned changes to this scheme.

 Is it necessary to obtain GP or NHS consent before going for a treatment to Europe?

 In principle, a patient does not need NHS permission.  If an NHS doctor already has confirmed that treatment wouldn’t be available under the NHS it is very likely that the same treatment received abroad will NOT be compensated. However, in some cases, when a GP refuses to refer a patient for further diagnostics or treatment, but treatment abroad was medically justified by the European doctor, such costs for treatment abroad might be compensated by the NHS.

 If the intended surgery is complex, expensive or has limited clinical effectiveness  (e.g. such as joint replacement, cancer, cataracts, nose reshaping, weight loss, prolapse surgeries or treatments for children), it may be necessary to get NHS authorisation in advance, otherwise the NHS may have a right to reject the compensation claim. Therefore it is always a good idea to contact us before planning your treatment in Europe.

 Are there any operations or procedures that are not normally reimbursed by the NHS?

 The NHS does not reimburse those operations and procedures that are not normally provided by NHS England, i.e. cosmetic, beauty treatments, vision correction operations, varicose veins and adenoid removal operations (except extreme cases), health check-ups etc. Dental treatment for many patients is also not compensated (see our blog for more details)

I would like to know in advance if my treatment in Europe will be compensated? What shall I do?

 The patient can receive NHS prior-authorisation for treatment in the EEA and find out what the maximum compensation available is even before going abroad. For this, we would need to see a detailed medical report (from the NHS or European clinician) along with other supporting documents. Typically the prior-authorisation process takes up to two months.

 I live in England but I would like to give birth in Europe. Can I expect NHS compensation?

 NHS patients can opt for a private childbirth at any private European maternity unit and receive a £ 1755- £ 2582 medical reimbursement. It is also possible to give birth at a state maternity home for free (in this case, you need to get NHS approval in advance).

 What documents should I bring from my hospital in Europe in order to make a claim?

 Normally, it is necessary to obtain a detailed medical report, proving why specific treatment was needed, original detailed invoices and receipts. It is also necessary to provide a translation of all documents into English.

 Where can I get more information and where can I apply for compensation?

 You can always contact our advisors or the NHS. We are the only British organisation that works directly with NHS England and doctors in Europe ensuring that patients receive comprehensive information about their health care rights in other EEA countries, have access to high-quality treatment and that all eligible costs are reimbursed in the shortest time.

The main reasons people go abroad for medical treatment:

More and more people living in the UK and other European countries travel abroad for medical treatment each year. Here are the main reasons why:

 Waiting lists are too long

– the longest in 8 years! (2017 data). In the UK, it is normal to wait up to 18 weeks for NHS treatment. In some cases, people wait for months to have serious heart, orthopaedic or other types of surgeries. Half a million Londoners are on waiting lists for NHS surgery alone!

Case study: Mrs H was fed up of waiting in pain, having already been on a waiting list for 20 weeks for a hip replacement, so she sought help from Body Bureau to get treatment abroad and reimbursement from the NHS, and within two weeks was planning her trip to Poland to have the operation.

With us, you would not need to wait for more than 1-2 weeks (after authorisation which takes up to 20 working days, if required) for any treatment, whether it is a day surgery, diagnostics or a difficult in-patient surgery.

 Risk of MRSA infections too high

MRSA (Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is a type of bacteria which has become increasingly resistant to antibiotics. MRSA infection has become increasingly difficult to treat and can lead to death. For some people, the incidence of MRSA infection in hospitals has been one of the factors which have encouraged them to seek hospital treatment and surgery abroad.

Case study: Mrs W was worried about the recent bad media coverage of the hospital where she was waiting to have her treatment, so wanted to look into alternative options abroad. She went to a private hospital with an excellent health and safety record and had her operation within a month. 100% of her treatment costs were reimbursed by the NHS.

At most of our partner clinics and hospitals, the MRSA rate is 0, compared to hundreds of cases reported each month in the NHS (2014 data: http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAweb&HPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1254510675444 )

 Local private treatment costs too much

Case study: Mr B wanted Arthroscopic lateral release of the knee surgery, but due to the pain and limiting nature of his condition, didn’t want to wait. He couldn’t afford to pay for it privately in the UK, so looked into private healthcare abroad. We helped him get the treatment, and reimbursement from the NHS.

With Body Bureau, you are able to get PRIVATE treatment abroad, paid by the NHS. You are able to get the best treatment, in the safest environment, paid for by your home country.

Leading medical professionals

Case study: Mrs L heard about a specialist department relative to her treatment requirements in the Czech Republic. She wanted to use them for her own treatment, so she contacted us to liaise with the NHS, help arrange the prior authorisation and reimbursement, and plan her trip.

You have the right to choose from the best doctors and hospitals. No postcode lottery.

Easy and inexpensive to reach from the UK

Case Study: The S family had planned a holiday to a resort in Lithuania when they found out about the good quality and value of medical care there. They also realised they could get the cost of grandma’s glaucoma treatment reimbursed, as she was on a waiting list for this with the NHS, and she had it done while they were away. The family also arranged for their son’s dental treatment as well.

The majority of the hospitals are within 2 hours flight from most UK airports.

Contact us NOW to find out if your treatment is eligible, and how we can help to make the process easy. Call us on 0207 617 7301 or 075 3443 7778. Email: info@bodybureau.co.uk  Facebook: www.facebook.com/bodybureau

 Body Bureau – Your Partner in Health!

© Body Bureau is a trademark of International Medical Care. We are medical tourism facilitator, which provides general information about cross-border healthcare and do not hold any responsibility for any treatments patients receive. NHS reimbursement for medical treatment abroad should not be treated as encouragement to substitute national healthcare system. A patient should always try to seek local medical help before considering going abroad.